How to plant a Strawberry Pallet Planter
Instructions on how to plant a handmade Strawberry Pallet Planter with up to 20 plants. Includes a link to how to build one and a planting-up video at the end.
Three years ago I shared how to make a Better Strawberry Pallet Planter and currently have two of them in my own garden. They grow loads of berries in a relatively small space so I’ve had a lot of people interested in the project. This piece goes through how to plant one up with up to twenty strawberry plants.
I grow strawberries in both the garden and at home and get as much productivity out of the plants in the pallet planter as I do in the open ground. The trick to keeping your plants happy is to plant them in rich compost and composted manure and to keep the planter well watered. Once you’ve planted it up, the plants inside will last from two to three years and will only need a top dressing of more composted manure each spring. Keep the top of the planter and the gaps between the slats filled with straw to reduce water evaporation and to keep the compost in the planter.
What you’ll need
Your four main materials needed for planting are straw, multi-purpose compost and/or composted manure, and landscaping fabric. The latter is to keep the compost from falling out through the gaps on the back, bottom, and sides of your planter.
You’ll also need plants. Any strawberry plants will do and I’ve planted my original planter up with some generic variety from the local gardening centre. My planters have 18 plants each but if you plant the sides up you can have 20 plants growing. Theoretically you could plant the back side up as well. I imagine you’ll need to feed and water the plants even more to get a harvest if you do so.
Even with the straw mulch you’ll still need to water your planter every day. All planters need daily watering but to get juicy berries and keep your plants thriving, make sure you don’t forget, especially in the heat of summer just before they fruit.
Steps on how to plant a Strawberry Pallet Planter
To see the entire process, watch the video at the bottom and subscribe to my YouTube channel as well.
Inside the Strawberry Pallet Planter will be wire mesh / chicken wire that you’ve lined the bottom with. Mine is not attached in any way to the wood — it’s just pressed in. This wire will keep the compost and straw from falling through.
Next, line the bottom and back with landscaping fabric. This will also help keep the compost in and also doesn’t need to be attached in any way.
Put a layer of straw in then fill the planter to the first set of slats. Place your strawberry plants in from from the inside and pad out the empty space in the gap with more straw. When all your plants are in for that level, add more compost to bring the level up to the next set of slats. Repeat.
Caring for your Strawberry Pallet Planter
I recommend that you top dress the surface of the planter with grit or more straw. It helps keep moisture in the planter and also reduces any soil erosion when you water it. Even so, soil will come out of the planter over time and it will accumulate underneath. Clean that area regularly or use trays to catch the run-off.
This planter will need daily watering in the middle of summer. At other times it will stay moist for longer periods — use your finger to determine if the compost is moist or not.
As for longevity — my first strawberry pallet planter lasted five years. It was looking a bit rickety towards the end but probably could have kept going if we didn’t have to move house. You’ll also need to replant this planter after its third year. Strawberry plants need changing out after that time and it’s also a good opportunity to repaint it if you’d like. I’d suggest an eco-friendly paint option if possible.
If you have any further questions on how to plant the Strawberry Pallet Planter please leave me a comment below. Watch the video below to see how I plant mine up and head over here if you’d like to see how to build your own.